Slatington teen best in state
Raven Scrantz of Slatington poses next to her Legends Car. Schrantz, now 15 years old, has been racing since she was nine.
When Raven Schrantz was a young girl, she didn't really like to watch NASCAR racing on television.
She was 8 years old when her father Barry's friend, Danny Kochenash, gave her a chance to sit behind the wheel of his racecar.
It may not have affected her opinion on NASCAR itself, but it soon influenced her thoughts of trying the sport.
"I used to watch NASCAR and I thought it was pretty boring," Raven said. "At first, I didn't even know how to get in the car, but once I was in the car I liked it.
"Right there, I thought to myself that getting into it (the sport of racing) would be a pretty cool thing to do."
A few months later, Raven received her own Quarter Midget Racecar for her ninth birthday.
Eventually, the other sports - karate, dancing, basketball and swimming - that she had been involved with over the last few years, took a backseat to her newfound love.
She even played volleyball in elementary school. That even got in the way of racing because her matches often ended up on the same weekend as a race.
"She tried everything, but she really never stuck to anything" the elder Schrantz said. "She still likes to likes to swim and play volleyball, but it's not the same as far as racing goes.
"When I say we're not racing this weekend, for whatever reason, she keeps begging me to find a place to race because that's what she likes to do."
After the choice was made to concentrate solely on racing, Raven traveled all over the country for five years taking part in Quarter Midget Racing.
Two years ago, Raven retired from Quarter Midget Racing to take part in a whole new level of the sport - Legend Cars.
Legend Cars, according to uslegendscars.com, are "manufactured by 600 Racing (now U.S. Legend Cars International) and internationally sanctioned by INEX to provide a fun and affordable racing opportunity in which everyone can compete.
"This series is an attempt to fight high costs involved in racing and the rules are strictly enforced to ensure the competition and cost control."
It was a move from a smaller car to a bigger car that her father said the youngster wanted to take on herself.
"The INEX Legends is what she wanted to do," Barry said. "So, we ended up doing that."
She has been splitting time between her two 1937 Chevy Coupe Legend Cars ever since.
Raven fell into the category of Young Lions because of being under the age of 16 years old and the fact that she had no prior experience in Legend Car racing.
There are four different classes in the state of Pennsylvania - Young Lions, Semi-pro, Pro and Master (40 and older).
Instead of traveling over a larger area of the nation, Raven has limited the mileage of travel with Raven Racing to within the Northeastern part of the country.
She traveled as far as Lanier, Georgia - for Nationals - to the likes of Bethel, Chemung and Shangri-la, all of which are in New York, and will have the luxury of even racing three times at nearby Mahoning Valley Speedway during the season.
In her first season as a Young Lion, Raven made it a memorable one by capturing her first division championship in her No. 144 Legend Cars by being the top Legends driver in the state of Pennsylvania.
This year, the highlight of the season for Raven will be when she travels South to take part in what may be one of her biggest races ever.
The 15-year-old Slatington native will take part in the Legends Million race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.
The Legends Million is open to all Legend Car competitors, 12 years old and older, and is not restricted by division.
Therefore, the experience of the competitors is not limited either.
"She might have Jeff Gordon in her heat race," said Barry, of her chances of racing against NASCAR drivers themselves. "Who knows? Supposedly, there's 20 or so that got cars."
However, with dad being dad, he has the utmost faith in his daughter that she will be fine once the day of the race nears.
"In my opinion, with her getting into that Million Dollar Race, it's actually on a quarter-mile track and that's where she seems to do the best," Barry said. "She's really comfortable on smaller tracks. We go to some that are three-eighths and a half mile and she doesn't do well on those.
"But on a quarter-mile thing, I think that might be one of the best things she could do this year. Go to that race. Not necessarily to win, but to do well. She'll be rubbing elbows with some of the best that race."
Raven is excited about the opportunity to drive at Charlotte, but a little intimidated as well.
"I'm really nervous because I don't know if I am ready," Raven said. "If the season goes as well as we plan it to be, hopefully it will be a good experience. And, if I do well, it will make it even better."
Raven has already set a goal for herself when she goes against top notch competition in the Legends Million at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"I just want to finish," Raven said. "There's going to be a ton of cars, and if I can finish in the top 80-percent, even though it kind of sounds like an easy thing to some people, just for myself though, it sounds somewhat hard and that's what I want to do."